I took a piece of plastic clay
And idly fashioned it one day,
And as my fingers pressed it still,
It moved and yielded to my will.
I came again when days were passed;
The bit of clay was hard at last,
The form I gave it still it bore,
But I could change that form no more!
I took a piece of living clay
And touched it gently day by day,
And molded with my power and art
A young child's soft and yielding heart.
I came again when years were gone;
It was a man I looked upon;
That early impress still he wore,
And I could change that man no more!